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Cerebral Palsy

Introduction

Cerebral palsy is a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor condition that causes physical disability in human development, primarily in body movements. However, it is not degenerative.

Types
Broadly, Cerebral Palsy can be classified under the following heads :-

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
  • Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
  • Atoxic Cerebral Palsy
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy
  • Spastic Quadriplegia
  • Spastic Diplegia
  • Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy : In this condition there is no control over ones limbs and in most cases complete lack of head control. Those in this condition are unable to lie down or sit or hold any posture on their own.
  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy :This is the most common form of Cerebral palsy. In this the muscle tightens and affects one side of the body or just the lower extremities. When all the four limbs get affected with spasticity, it is Spastic Quadriplegia
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy : It is the next most common form of Cerebral Palsy also known as dyskenetic. In this condition there is slow involuntary muscle movement. Some muscles would have either too high or too low tone.
  • Atoxic Cerebral Palsy : This is least common type of Cerebral Palsy. The cerebellum is affected in this case, thereby, affecting movement co ordination of the limbs and torso.

As for the Mixed Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Quadriplegia or Spastic Diplegia, these all are rare and happen in combination with Spastic and Athetoid movements occurring together. All other combinations though possible are not very common.

Causes

After much studies and research undertaken the world over on this subject, the exact cause for cerebral palsy is yet to be ascertained. What is known is that Cerebral Palsy is caused when the motor control center of the developing brain gets damaged either during pregnancy (insufficient supply of oxygen to the foetus during gestation) or during child birth (birth trauma or premature babies with undeveloped organs are susceptible to hypoxic injury to the brain) or yet again till the age of 3 years any severe ailment or accident (severe jaundice, lead poisoning, choking, meningitis or near drowning).

  • Symptoms
    The symptoms may appear son after birth or may take several months to become apparent. Usually it is the parents who dtect an abnormality in the child like the child having too floppy or rigid extremities. The most common sign of Cerebral Palsy is developmental delay. That is, the child is unable to attain the milestones assigned at every growth stage. Cerebral Palsy will primarily affect :-
    • Balance
    • Reflexes
    • Difficulty in swallowing and feeding
    • Holding the head
    • Postures
    • Speech impairment
    • Poor muscle tone in the face
    • Seizures
    • Learning disabilities
    • Hearing problems
    • Vision problems & blindness. There may also be squint or suffer from eyes not properly aligned (strabismus)
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Constipation
    • Drooling
  • Life Expectancy
    Most children with cerebral palsy can live a long and near to normal and independent life, provided, early detection and medical intervention is done. They also benefit very largely not only by good medical care but alongwith it various therapies, special education, psychological assistance and guidance and technological assistance. Patient and encouraging parents and family members go a long way in this regard. All these together can improve the life expectancy of a cerebral palsy affected child.
  • Improving Quality of Life
    To improve the quality of life of cerebral palsy child one has to first accept that special care and therapy is needed. The main areas needed to be focused upon is mainly:-
  • Early detection
  • Constant medical guidance
  • Improve mobility
  • Trying to encourage independence in daily activities
  • Improving social and peer associations and interactions.
  • Work on improving speech and communications.
  • Improving feeding abilities.
  • Improving learning potential.

Traditional Treatment

By now we are clear and have accepted the fact that cerebral palsy cannot be cured. However, with a variety of treatments and interventions, a cerebral palsy child can lead a near to normal life. The treatment for cerebral palsy child broadly can be categorized under the following heads:-

  • Physical Therapy :This therapy helps the child in attaining maximum mobility through various combinations of excercises.
  • Aqua Therapy : It is highly recommended as water provides buoyancy which makes excercises easy to perform effectively and safely. Warm water has a massage effect on the joints and ligaments that are often over used and in pain. The heart too pumps more blood per beat when the body is in water, thereby increasing the blood flow to all the organs in the body.
  • Behavioural Therapy : This enables the cerebral palsy affected child to communicate and interact with others in a better manner.
  • Occupational Therapy : This helps the teens and adults with cerebral palsy to lead an independent life, as much as possible.
  • Speech Therapy : With this therapy the cerebral palsy affected child is trained to cope with his speech and eating disorders. This therapy should start before the beginning of school and should continue right through the schooling years.
  • Massage Therapy : This therapy helps in strengthening muscles, relax tense muscles and keeps the joints flexible.
  • Hatha Yoga : This form of yoga comprises of breathing excercises which helps in making the lungs strong and keeping any kind of lung infections at bay.
  • Regular medications
  • Constant interaction and visits to the therapists and doctors.
  • Surgery if and when needed.
  • Taking help of equipment and special devices, such as, braces, splints or casts. These maybe needed to strengthen a particular muscle or to restrict movement of one and thereby strengthening another muscle or tendon of the body.

Prevention
As the old adage goes prevention is better than cure, it applies here in totality. By taking certain precautions one can minimize the chances of cerebral palsy affected child, though it can never be ruled out completely.

  • Pre natal care for the pregnant woman.
  • Expecting mothers to avoid alcohol, cigarettes and/or illicit drugs.
  • Rubella (measles) during or early in life can also be a cause. Test for Rubella immunity before a woman plans her pregnancy should be done.
  • Testing Rh compatibility is important. Incompatible Rh factor is easily treated. But, if left untreated it can cause brain damage.
  • Routine vaccination of babies prevent serious illness like meningitis which may lead to cerebral palsy.
  • Ensure safety of an infant by buckling hi up securely in a car seat and also insist on the child wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle.

Stem Cell Treatment

Cerebral Palsy and Stem Cell Therapy 

Brain imaging scans of cerebral palsy children show lack of blood flow to various regions of the brain. Stem cells procured from the umbilical cord are able to repair the entire system by redeveloping new blood vessels to the damaged areas. Strengthening of muscle tissues and improving immunity functions are amongst other improvements that take place.

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy

  • Decrease in abnormal muscle tone
  • Increased muscular strength.
  • Improvement in holding the head, keeping a posture, sitting , standing, walking and holding with hands.
  • Better co- ordination
  • Increase in apetite thereby resulting in weight gain.
  • Improvement in learning abilities.
  • Decreased strabismus (non aligned eyes)
  • None to significant decrease in drooling.

Stem Cell India Research Centre’s Objective
With major advancements and researches being done world wide, we at Stem Cell India Research Centre are proud to announce that we too are making significant contribution in this field. We offer stem cell treatment to recover and repair the damaged brain tissue. Cell death occurs when cells are injured but as these cells are surrounded by healthy cells, stem cells having the potential to stimulate the healing of these damaged cells promotes the body’s self repair mechanisms. Most patients show improvements at an early stage of the transplant itself. And, as cerebral palsy is not degenerative, these improvements are permanent!


If you wish to know more about how stem cell therapy can help you personally, ask the doctors at Stem Cell India Research Centre. We also encourage you to carefully study our stem cell transplantation methods and understand the different factors that may influence your decisions regarding the treatment. for more information.

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